image

The Dala Horse: A Symbol of Sweden

If you’ve ever travelled to Sweden, there’s a great chance you have encountered the symbol of the Dala horse- (sometimes known as a Dalecarlian horse or Dalarna horse).  Many of us have seen this painted red wooden horse, unaware that it is one of the most famous examples of Scandinavian, and specifically Swedish folk art.

The name “Dala horse” (Dalahäst) is partly an abbreviation or nickname derived from the word “Dalecarlian,” referring to the language spoken in the Swedish province of Dalarna, the place where these red carved horses originated back as early as the sixteenth century.

Dalecarlian horses began as unpainted wooden toys whittled and carved cheaply with a knife for children to play with, red Dala horses painted with the now distinctive decorative white and green ornamentation were presented as examples of traditional Swedish folk art at the World’s Expo in Paris (1937) and World’s Fair in New York (1939).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Traditionally Dala horses were generally left unpainted or painted solid red, but in the 1830s Swedish artist Stikå Erik Hansson became known for painting his own unique Dala horses with a two-color simplified form of kurbits decoration. Hansson’s Dala horse pattern has since become the tradition for Dala horse making in Sweden.

hurgammal_majtjerkfoto_svenwittgren_1940hurgammal_karinnisser

Tourists may be surprised at the expensive price of these little red wooden horses, but these handmade souvenirs are hand carved from pine wood and painted in the traditional kurbits style by at least nine trained craftsman in Dalarna workshops. Real Dalecarlian horses are stamped with a certification of authenticity, so don’t be fooled and buy the cheap knock-offs sold in some souvenir shops.

Dala horses now come in a variety of sizes and colors–not just red–and also animals, with roosters and pigs also popular versions and alternatives to the traditional Dalarna horse.

The original meaning behind the carved Swedish Dala horses may be unknown, but today the red painted wooden Dalecarlian horse is essentially a symbol of the country of Sweden itself.

 

Find yours here!

Small packages can equal big profits- here’s the proof..

Sometimes, we can’t help but chuckle about the amount of bids, and the surprisingly high price that an item has sold for.

From these sales, we learn a lot!  Here are some items to keep on the lookout for if you too sell online!

We present to you..

image

#1. Vintage Advertising Letter Opener, sold for approx. $40

#2. Kingspoint Designs 3 Monkeys See Hear Speak No Evil Trinket Box, sold for approx. $40

#3. Rare Vintage 1969 Lucky Charms Cereal Premium Underdog Eraser, sold for approx. $20

#4. Gingher Designer Series Sonia Dressmaker’s Red Floral Pattern Scissors, sold for approx. $60

#5. Pugnacious Banana Pug Collectible Resin Figurine, sold for approx. $150

 

Visit our Pinterest board full of treasures like this!

 

The Year of the BREYER Horse

711191-Champ-Wishes-Front

The beginning of Breyer

Beginning as a plastics manufacturing company in Chicago, Illinois, Breyer Animal Creations®, was originally Breyer Molding Company.  A special order for the F.W. Woolworth Company was made to adorn a mantle piece clock.  Many admired it and sought after just the horse, and so it was that the company took a new direction and created model horses.  The first of its kind was the #57 Western Horse in 1950.

Today

Reeves International Inc, a long-standing toy distribution company founded by Swiss entrepreneur Werner J. Fleischmann in 1946, acquired the Breyer Animal Creations brand in 1984.  Reeves Breyer Animal Creations manufactures plastic, porcelain and resin model horses, and other animals and accessories for play and collecting.

The artists behind the models

USING PAINTBRUSHES AND AIRBRUSHES, THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 20 DIFFERENT ARTISANS WHO HANDLE EACH INDIVIDUAL MODEL FROM START TO FINISH, EVEN TODAY, NO TWO BREYER MODEL HORSES ARE EVER EXACTLY ALIKE.  
Known for their highly detailed realistic features and authenticity, Breyer works with talented equine artists and sculptors with deep knowledge of horse anatomy.  Each model is expertly hand-painted and finely detailed.  These iconic Breyer horse models have inspired the model horse collecting hobby.
Breyer also has a strong collector base for which it published an annual collector publication Just About Horses (JAH), has an online Collector Club, and hosts BreyerFest, the world’s largest annual model horse collector and equine festival.

1391.enlarge.1A FEW HELPFUL RESOURCES TO HELP YOU identify your BREYER HORSES and learn more about these intriguing collectibles:

BREYERHORSES.COM – THE OFFICIAL HOME FOR BREYER FANS OF ALL AGES
Identifyyourbreyer.com – An online catalog for Breyer lovers
The world of Model Horses – Your Model Horse Guide

DO YOU COLLECT HORSES, OR WANT TO GET A UNIQUE GIFT FOR THAT HORSE FANATIC YOU KNOW?

CHECK OUT OUR CURRENT SELECTION OF HORSE-THEMED ITEMS IN THE SWEDEMOM STORE!